What causes anger? How can I conquer it?

—A Devotee

Whenever a desire is obstructed or contradicted, it usually results in anger. If this is the cause of your anger, first find out whether your desire was good or bad. If it was bad, you should be grateful to be released from the possibility of wrong-doing.

Always try to be firm, but also calm. To be overcome by anger is to defeat your purpose. When anger comes, you can easily forget your position and do wrong things, which makes you a tool of ignorance. If something has gone wrong, try to correct the error. Look at things calmly, intelligently, and with the consciousness of justice, but do not make concessions to the weaknesses of others. When you approach life in this way, the divine law will give you the right understanding.

Learn to give love, calmness and continuous understanding to those who are angry with you. This will quench the fire of their wrath Always try to conquer evil with love. To do so shows divine strength, which is much stronger than anger.

Remember also that whenever you are angry, you are in a slow-baking oven. All your nerves and brain cells are baking in the heat of your anger. Anger carried to extremes is harmful for the body, mind, and soul. Not only are many illnesses caused by anger, it can also bring on old age more quickly, and sometimes even death. The face of an angry man is distorted. Your face is made in the image of God. Do not desecrate it with anger.

Jesus showed his spiritual greatness when he said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” If he had, in anger, used all the powers at his command to destroy his enemies, would mankind worship Him today? No! By not becoming angry, by forgiving those who crucified him, he showed his Godlike qualities. As a result, not only is he is enshrined in many hearts, he is the luminary we behold throughout eternity, a light to warm us and give us strength.

From Inner Culture, March 1939.